Tie Width – My Personal Reflections

Looking back in time at my instagram account I’ve seen a lot of do’s and don’t when it comes to my ties and especially the tie width. When reflecting over the evolution of my tie wardrobe, I’ve asked my self several questions like;

  • what is the perfect tie width?
  • is there an only and perfect tie width?
  • is the width the only parameter?

When doing an inventory of my ties and looking back at the ones I have replaced, the width of my ties has gone from 7-8 cm in the beginning to 8-9 cm at the moment. But what I’ve also noticed is that several of my 8cm ties have been replaced as well and there are still some that will have the same destiny. What are then the parameters that give you the perfect tie? Here are some:

The width is of course one of the basic and most considerable parameters. So what should you choose? 6cm? 7cm? 8cm? or 9cm? Here is where I have noticed man of my mistakes in the past (and probably still some now). When chosing the width make sure that it corresponds to the lapels of your jacket. Wider lapels in my opinion demands a wider tie, and vice versa. So there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going for a skinny tie if you have very narrow lapels. But when you start mixing, that’s when it begins to get messy. Below are some examples from my own pictures.

A wide tie with narrow lapels – NO GOOD

A narrow tie with very wide lapels – NO GOOD

A narrow tie with narrow lapels – GOOD (excuse the collar gap!)

A wider tie with wider lapels – GOOD

Other Parameters
What I’ve noticed as well is that the width isn’t the only parameter to look at. Other aspects to look at (that I won’t go into further detail on) are e.g.:

  • Material
  • Construction
  • Lining

But one that I would really like to mention, due to the fact that it is very closely related to the width, and that is the shape. Why is the shape important then? The reason is (I’m taking the wider ties as an example), that independently if your tie is 8 or 9 cm, if the shape of the tie is to “bottle-shaped” the tie will look narrow, un-proportional or unbalanced. The width of the tie in the area where you make the knot is as important, if not more important than lining, material etc. Here are som examples:

8 cm (linen) tie with a four in hand knot with a good knot width in my opinion

8cm (madder) tie with a four in hand knot and slightly more bottle-shaped giving a slightly narrower tie knot

8cm (madder) tie with a four in hand knot with a good knot width in my opinion

When buying you next tie, make sure to do an inventory of your jackets / suits and find a tie width that suits your wardrobe. Also make sure to find a tie shape that fits your lapels, body length and also the knot you typically use.

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Best regards

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